Monday, April 25, 2005

Retreating and Retrenching

Well maybe not retrenching yet. I have decided to call a stop to the program for at least a week. After the previous weekend when I wanted to quit so bad, I decided I'd stick it out for another week and see what happened. My mood did not improve , and I developed a strained right calf. Yesterday, I decided to suspend for a week. I will take a week off to see if my mood improves, let my calf heal and consider how I might modify my program a bit. I'm not a big fan of moderation, but maybe its time I became one.

I do NOT heart Huckabees
I seem to have lost all ability to pick good movies to rent. This weekend I rented "I heart Huckabees" which was really bad. Really bad. I'm surprised no one involved with the making of this movie has been imprisoned for felonious use of film. I also rented "Once Upon a Time in the West" since I have a soft spot for cowboy movies. I wasn't impressed. Henry Fonda was good, but Charles Bronson makes a lousy cowboy in my view. Perhaps one just accepts one's own personal overblown tough guy. I kept thinking, "Who do you think you are, Charles? Clint Eastwood? I knew Clint Eastwood. He was a friend of mine. You're no Clint Eastwood!" From now on, no cowboy movies that don't have Clint (OK, except for Tombstone.)

Movie recommendations welcome.

Friday, April 22, 2005

A Tale of Two Jogs

The last two nights of jogging could not have been more different. Wednesday night, I dragged my carcass around for an hour. I felt and looked like Mr. Tudball shuffling around the block. I came back, showered, and crashed. I was going to try and keep my daughter company as she was having trouble getting to sleep but was booted out of her room for snoring.

Last night, I cruised around the block with no problem. My legs barely even got sore. Go figure.

My weight took a nose dive this morning, but this is largely due to the fact that I usually skip dinner Thursday night, in favor of chess club. Nonetheless, we reach a new low.

33 down, 67 to go
Weight: 196.5

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Still Rolling

Weight seems to be holding steady but I am getting more used to the regimen. Hard to work in a continuous hour every day to go running but by no means impossible. Legs getting used to it.

This weekend was very hard. I was very tempted to throw in the towel but stuck it out.

Set a new low time of 47:32 on the original 60 minute loop which is about 4.4 miles.

31 days down, 69 to go
Weight: 200

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Starting what you finish

Last night, Dulcinea was out until 10:00 PM with meetings. I had fallen asleep, so I took my rest day a day early. Technically, it should always come on Saturday, but I have been trying to wait until Monday. As I trot around the block late Monday night, I'm sure I'll wish I had not taken it Friday, but I was really tired. I almost yelled at my daughter during storytime for breathing too loud. (Sadly I'm not kidding.) I was beat.

Strong feelings this week of wanting to give up. The regimen is tiring, and progress is slow. I did hit 197.5 yeterday, but I'm back up to 198.5 today. I miss my vices, particularly the early evening beer. It is tempting to modify the program, but I think I should not. It's not that it is too hard but that I have taken away most of my escape valves. How does one deal with life's angst/malaise without diversion? Feel like I wanted to come to this place because I wanted to stop running from it. Really the plan was to get to this place and see what came out of it. Hard to wait when one is uncomfortable. But wait I shall.

Probably something to the timing of this too. I had similar thoughts on my chess quest at about this time in the process, and I recall something like this when I was on a similar Lent journey a year ago. Like then, the only certainty I can fall back on is that one usually reaches the point where the only reason to finish is that you said you'd do it.

27 days down, 73 to go
Weight: 198.5

Thursday, April 14, 2005

One part down, Three parts to go

Strange. Being a quarter of the way there doesn't feel like much of an accomplishment, and yet 25 days of running 5 miles/ day feels like a lot (OK, 22 if you don't count the rest days). Weight is holding steady at 198.5 which I think has something to do with it. Diets have spoiled me for weight loss. I would have expected drop more than 6 pounds in week one alone on a diet. Much slower going when running it off.

wah! wah! wah! Poor me!

25 days down, 75 to go
Weight: 198.5

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Key to every strict regimen is the ground rules for what is acceptable cheating. As is my custom, I am making up the rules as I go along. Up until this Saturday, I would say there was only minimal cheating on my part. I occasionally would have something that contained a little refined sugar just because it was convenient and once a ran only 45 minutes with the rationalization that I would stretch for 15 minutes afterwards (bad idea). These were minor offenses.

This Saturday I decided to "take the night off" which meant I skipped running and drank beer. This is clearly a felony cheat. I went with the rationalization that it was in tribute to 20 straight days on the plan. Lame at best, but I was in a pissy mood.

I'm glad I cheated though. I had become increasingly focused on the exercise and weight loss part of this and that is not entirely the point. Sadly, I'm not sure exacly what is the point, but it has something to do with change. It's not so much that I want to eat better and take better care of myself as that I want to want that. A night of cheating somehow reminded me of this. Go figure.

Went for a very nice run last night. Though the weight loss continues it's pokey descent, my fitness is improving dramatically. Ran the original 60 minute loop in 48:15, thereby knocking 3 minutes off last week's time. Nice to see such definitive results when it feels like I keep waddling around the block and have nothing ot show for it except very tired quadriceps. (Note to self: Too many staircases in my world.). I clocked 11 min/mile over 5 miles which is great for me. I shall be very pleased when I break 10 min/mile and can officially say I'm running, not jogging.

23 days down, 77 to go
Weight: 198.5

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Method to the Madness

As I'm into week 3, I thought I should explain the method behind my madness (so that both people who read this blog can follow). The key factor is my plan is exercising at the proper heart rate.

Everyone's heart has a maximum rate. You would think this is related to fitness, but it is not. In general it corresponds to age. You can get a rough and ready guess by using the formula 220-age = max heart rate. You can also find out your max heart rate by sprinting up a steep hill three times in succession (more or less). I have done this before and discovered that my max heart rate was 197. A few years have passed since then, so my guess is that my max rate is now around 194.

On the other end, you have a resting heart rate. This is the slowest that your heart beats. The best way time to measure this is first thing when you wake up in the morning. This rate does vary with fitness. The more fit you are, the lower it goes. Tennis player Bjorn Borg was said to have a resting heart rate of 29. (That's one beat every 2 seconds.) Most mortals are in the 60-70 beats/minute range. Last time I measured my resting heart rate it was 64. Resting heart rates also vary according to other factors. If you are sick, hung over or had a hellacious workout the day before, your resting heart rate will be elevated.

My goal in running is to get my heart rate up to 65-70% of its maximum capacity and hold it there for an hour. 70% of max capacity is around 155 beats/ minute.

194 - 64 = 130
130 * .7 = 91
91 + 64 = 155

At this rate, I am getting the bulk of my energy from burning fat. It is also a farily slow pace thus cutting down on wear and tear on the body. John L. Parker (remember John L. Parker; this is a blog about John L. Parker) suggests that runners need to run at this lower rate for at least half of their workouts.

If I really wanted to improve my running ability, I would also run 2 times a week at 85%+. This is what most people think of as "running". You go out, huff and puff, and come back red faced. Problem is that I'm not really in great shape, and if I did this, it might interfere with my ability to run 6 out of 7 days a week. As the program continues, I hope to be able to work some of this faster pace running in. As it is, my legs are almost all spent by the end of the week.

18 days down, 82 to go
Weight: 202

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Good Run

Had a good run last night. Had to run past the end of my 5 mile loop to keep running for 60 minutes. I covered my original first loop in 51 minutes. This is only a 2 minute and 15 second improvement over last week, so I'm beginning to think I may not break the sound barrier this year after all. Always nice to run after a rest day.

Actually, I almost had my first missed day yesterday. I was draggin' by the time I got home. I got my youngest in bed at 7:00 and then promptly feel asleep. My oldest came in 45 minutes later to have me read her bedtime story. After she woke me up, I rallied enough to read a story and go for a one hour run. Glad I did.

17 days down, 83 to go
Weight: 199

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Must Complain More

Seems like each time I whine on the blog about not losing weight, I drop a couple of pounds. This morning's weight (199.5) achieves my first goal of getting below 200 (on a rest day too). It is with great pleasure that I proclaim

IIIIIIII am not a porker!

I think in the right lighting I could credibly pass for "stout" or perhaps "portly". Next stop 190!

16 days down, 84 to go
Weight: 199.5

Monday, April 04, 2005

Slow Going

Holding steady at 200.5. I'd be lying if I didn't admit to feeling slightly miffed. I know. I know. Two pounds a week is a very healthy rate of weight loss. At this rate, I will hit 180 in 10 weeks (just about what I predicted), but it is a lot harder than the diet. I often lose 8 pounds in my first week of dieting. According to diet physics, this is not possible, but it happens just the same. Must be water weight.

Theoretically, I should start losing weight at a faster rate as the program continues because 1) my metabolism will increase due to the increase in exercise and
2) I will be running faster because I'll be in better shape. Actually I shouldn't complain too much because I have been eating heartily if a bit more healthily. I guess it is wearing on me a bit more than I thought as well. It is a pain to journey out the door for an hour every single day. Glad today is my rest day because my legs were getting tired. I'm also fighting off a bit of a cold. No fever but enough to be annoying. Overall, feeling a bit cranky.

15 days down, 85 to go
Weight: 200.5

Friday, April 01, 2005


OK, I might as well come clean.

I have been eating a little better since I started the 100 days of Run Fun program.

I know. I'm not supposed to diet, but I have been watching what I eat a little (besides the no alcohol, caffeine, or refined sugar thing). I'm trying to eat reasonable portions and not to pig out on chips and such. This is more of a this week thing than a last week thing. Last week, I ate everything but the drapes to compensate for the caffeine withdrawl.

I notice how often I eat because I'm bored. It's just something to do when I'd rather be doing something else. As I haul my carcass around the neighborhood at night, I'm thinking that I don't want to make this any harder than it has to be. If I'm going to run for 6 hours evey week, I damm sure better be getting thinner. In this way, the exercise has become a motivational factor in the curbing of the diet.

Went jogging at lunch yesterday and was dragging. Not enough time to recuperate from the night before's run. Am a bit worn out today. Looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.

12 days down, 88 to go
Weight: 201